A Life Well Lived

“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.”

Mae West


A great deal of care goes into selecting the best horses for breeding and following that the beautiful process of gentling the young horse begins. Then begins the greatest of journeys, many years spent exploring new lands, mountains at day break, forests in the golden hour and beaches with waves crashing around us; learning new dances, jumping, playing, climbing, loving, resting, being still together, just as one, Two beings in the same space at the same time.


“Two minds must want to do what two bodies can do.”

Bent Branderup


This sparks pure joy when our horses want what we want, this physical, mental, emotional understanding that makes our dreams a reality, but what happens to the horses that don’t?

For horses used in competition, very often the harsh reality is that when they stop serving the human they get euthanised, or for the big-hearted horse rescuer with a budget surrounded by well meaning scientist the horse often gets locked in a box. Unable to socialise but equally unable to get injured.

If our horses can’t move because they’re locked in a box, we can’t see if they’re lame, which somehow we are more comfortable with; out of sight out of mind.

The problem here is that horses are not like us. We are predictor’s, the kings of independent, direct line thought, we are actively praised for standing on our own two feet and going it alone. Whereas horses are herd animals and have very different concerns. They think as a “we” rather than an “I” and are subconsciously governed by the mood and wellbeing of the herd. This is the horses nature and priority above all else.

This is why a well balanced herd is the choice of the horse, though the are a few specific prerequisites to building a well-balanced herd:

  • No Metal shoes.
  • Both sexes present in order to balance hormones.
  • Forage analysis in order to balance minerals.
  • Varied terrain to challenge balance and flex joints.
  • Scrub land low in sugar with a selection of trees, herbs and wild grasses for self-selection and foraging.
  • Many “FOLLOWER” a few “DOMINANTS” and a “LEAD HORSE”.

I know this all sounds great but how do we set this up? How do we make this happen? Let me tell you it has not been easy 😅 because society often doesn’t support change. We like to keep our horses in the same way we have been doing for thousands of years and sadly for many horses this is how they will end their days.

Here at Student of the Horse we provide horse-centred livery for all horses from Foal to Retirement so if you would like to know more about how to create this for you and your horse like, share and comment and drop us an email

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